Monthly Archives: April 2012

Words of Wisdom

While I was editor of the Teton Valley News (1995-98), musician and songwriter Ben Winship (a friend from Victor) arranged the chance for me to talk to his dad, Tom Winship, longtime editor of the Boston Globe. What a treat!  Tom Winship was a giant among journalists, well-known for his encouragement of some of my favorite columnists, including Ellen Goodman.  Another perspective is that the paper won something like a dozen Pulitzers under his leadership–no small feat.

We met at Cody’s Cafe; anybody in Teton Valley remember that place, where the Bunkhouse Bistro is today? Illustrator Mike Clelland drew the restaurant’s logo; the chairs in the diner were painted with Dalmatian dog spots and paw prints. I’d even worked there for several months (learned everything I needed to know from Stewart Chisholm) before I went to the TVN.

Anyway, back to Tom Winship and that memorable chat: Ben lost his father a decade ago, but Tom’s words from over that shared cup of coffee continue to inspire me. He insisted that what we do should be “fun” and to “get out when it’s not fun anymore.” Terrific advice on many levels.

Known to be at least a little curious about almost everything, he also famously said, ”I don’t see how you can be a good editor without a short attention span.”

Truly appropriate for the day! Back to my laptop, where editing awaits!

I didn't edit the TVN on something quite this antique, but my first computer there was an old Compaq! We did lay-up the old-fashioned way (with waxed half-tones and line strips); at that time, we were owned by the Jackson Hole Guide. Tammie van Leerdam ran the paper for Fred and Elizabeth McCabe. Some very good years there, I always thought!

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Filed under Around the Valley, On writing